PALM BEACH, Fla. President Donald Trump opened his first Christmas in office by offering season’s greetings to the AMERICAN troops all over the world and full of praise for the sacrifices that their families make when their loved ones are away.
“Today and every day, we are incredibly grateful for you and for your family,” Trump said of Florida estate, where he is spending the holiday with his family. “Your family is huge. Always undervalued, the military families. The greatest people on Earth.”
Trump spoke briefly by video hook-up on Sunday to the members of the Army, Navy, air force, Navy and coast guard stationed in Qatar, Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and patrolling the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East.
Vice-President Mike Pence rally U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan during a surprise visit last week.
Trump complemented each branch of the armed forces. He said that the Army of the “Iron Brigade combat team in Kuwait to perform a “vital mission” through the collaboration with the iraq, Kuwait, Saudi arabian and Jordanian armies, and the offer of the protection of the armed forces in Syria and Iraq.
He said a Kuwait-based, Marine air-ground task force has more than 4000 hours of close air support in the campaign against the Islamic State of the group, and he thanked the sailors aboard the USS Sampson for the defense of a “high value assets” in the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump also singled out the Air Force’s 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron in Qatar for the involvement of more than 700, and the Taliban targets in five different countries, and winning two trophies in an Air Force bomb competition. He called the win a “fantastic achievement.”
But he seemed to reserve the most praise for the coast guard, under the impression of the president with the rescue operation during a devastating hurricane season in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. virgin islands.
“You have done such an incredible job in Texas and Florida and Puerto Rico,” Trump said. “A lot of Republicans are very happy, but I have to tell you, the people of Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and many other states are even more satisfied. What a job you have done … saved thousands and thousands of lives.”
Puerto Ricans, however, the question of the president’s upbeat assessment of the state of their mind.
Energy generation at the territory of the V. S. is at 65 percent of normal, with nine of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities still completely in the dark for more than three months after the Hurricane Maria walloped the island. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that power will not be fully restored in Puerto Rico until May. More than 200,000 homes were destroyed and more than 30,000 people have lost their jobs, sparking an exodus of more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans to Florida only.
At the conclusion, Trump offered thanks to those who are away from their families to “defend our families, our freedoms and our pride.”
“Every American heart is grateful for you and we ask God to watch over you and keep watch over your family,” he said, before he asked the journalists to leave the room so that he could begin taking questions from the service for the members.
Trump is scheduled to join first lady Melania Trump later Sunday to answer phone calls from children looking for updates on Santa Claus’ whereabouts on the NORAD Tracks Santa program. The North American Aerospace Defense Command has tracked Santa’s flight for more than 60 years.
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